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Tuesday, December 6 • 11:15am - 11:35am
Using Molecular Genetics To Identify Unknown Species Of Hexastylis (Heartleaf)

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The federally threatened genus Hexastylis (Aristolochiaceae) has recently undergone a taxonomic revision and has been separated from the genus Asarum (wild ginger). Approximately 12 species have been described within this genus, but they are difficult to differentiate based on morphology alone. Recently, 16 polymorphic microsatellite markers were developed to distinguish among species, including H. naniflora, H. minor, and H. heterophylla. The Botanical Gardens at UNC Asheville asked us to assess the identity of 11 Hexastylis individuals in their collection. A QIAGEN Plant Mini Kit was used to extract DNA from each of the 11 Hexastylis leaf samples. PCR amplification and gel electrophoresis was then used to analyze and compare DNA fragment sizes at each of 15 microsatellite loci. These results will allow us to give the Botanical Gardens at UNC Asheville more accurate information on the species they have so they can better educate people about these federally threatened species and help conserve and protect the plants they have.

Tuesday December 6, 2016 11:15am - 11:35am PST
038 Karpen Hall